VILNIUS – Jun 28, 2019 – The likelihood of “Russian aggression” against Lithuania is low, but in the Baltic country there is still anti-Russian hysteria and preparation for an unlikely war, writes National Interest magazine.
The magazine indicates that Lithuania is concerned about the modernization of the Russian army over the past five years and the strengthening of the border region of Kaliningrad. Lithuanian power understands that the probability of a Russian attack is “low”, but some still believe that Moscow sees the Baltic as “temporarily lost territory.”
Forces of Russia
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, the neighboring Russian region is home to 20,000 soldiers, including Marines, as well as, according to the agency, that Russia could inflict a severe landslide on the territory of Lithuania from the east, from the territory Belarus, less than 20 miles from the suburbs of Vilnius.
In addition, Moscow may use an additional 120,000 military from the Western Military District, including tank troops, to “attack.”
Forces of Lithuania
The publication writes that Lithuania is currently able to mobilize only 14,000 Army and Navy personnel, with 4,000 having just completed nine months of military service. In addition, Lithuania can count on 5,000 volunteers and 1,300 soldiers from Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, according to the “enhanced NATO presence” program.
It should be noted that in the last six years Lithuania has tripled the military budget, which corresponds to 2% of GDP and is being spent on improving the main ground forces – in the mechanized brigade and in the motor brigade.
Role of NATO
In case of war, Lithuania will assume a defensive position and await the reinforcements of the Atlantic Alliance. At present, the Ministry of Defense and the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport are working together to increase the speed of admission of Allied troops in their territory, in particular, to improve the capacity of the port of Klaipeda and to expand the Polish railway line to the main base of the mechanized brigade.
In addition to NATO forces, Lithuania hopes to receive US troops in its territory. Thus, the US armored brigade, which is in Poland, could periodically move there. Earlier, Russia’s Security Council announced the strengthening of NATO forces near Russian borders.
According to Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of the Security Council, within two years the number of rapid reaction forces has increased from 25 to 40,000 soldiers, and in the Baltic countries the battalion’s enhanced tactical groups are mobilized. In addition, the US “three of 30” initiative is being implemented. It provides for the readiness to use 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 NATO warships for 30 days.
Western politicians, mainly from the Baltic states and Poland , are constantly talking about the “Russian threat”. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Russia will never attack anyone.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO is well aware of the lack of a Moscow strike plan, but simply uses that excuse to install more military equipment and battalions near the Russian border.